Deloittes partner calls for harmonisation of audit practices

Deloittes’ national audit technical partner Martyn E Jones, said: ‘Auditing standards need to be the same everywhere because that is what the public and capital markets expect.’

Jones’ comments follow research into new audit methodologies in practice in the Big Five in the UK, Canada and the US.

Technological advances and modernised transactional processes have forced Big Five audit practices to take a more proactive approach to auditing in recent years.

Welcoming the research, Auditing Practices Board chairman Ian Plaistowe, said: ‘In this rapidly changing environment, the Auditing Practices Board recognises the need to keep its existing standards current and has embarked on a phased review programme.’

But, Jones urged the APB to take a global approach instead of merely a UK one. ‘It is hoped that in responding to the research a global approach is adopted rather than the APB putting SAS 300 revision on their agenda,’ said Jones.

The research conducted by three academics from the UK, Canada and the US looks at the principles and implications of the new auditing trend adopted by larger firms that have offices in most of the world’s countries, but no internationally consistent method to auditing.

Plaistowe said the APB was aware of the need to revise UK audit rules in accordance with the international standard-setting board, IAPC.

But, he said if the IAPC does not progress its work over the next six months, the APB would have to begin updating alone. ‘Ideally we would be modernizing standards in the same timeframe, but the IAPC is currently undergoing restructuring so it depends on its processes,’ he said.

Stuart Turley, author of the research and professor at Manchester University, said the audit trend in large firms was substantial to warrant looking at another stage of development, but he called for more research beforehand.

The reason for the delay in revising UK audit rules was due to the APB awaiting the results of its research and that of the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s which is ‘due any day now’, said Plaistowe.

APB calls for views on statutory audit changes

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